Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

March 19, 2009 16:37 ET

Government of Canada Helps Farmers by Investing in Biodiesel Research

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 19, 2009) - The Government of Canada is investing in research that will boost the Canadian economy and help farmers to increase their production of sought-after Canadian canola. MP Brian Storseth (Westlock-St. Paul) today announced a $1 million investment in the Sustainable Cropping System Platforms for Biodiesel Feedstock Quantity and Quality (SBQQ) research network.

"Our government is helping Canadian farmers thrive. Biodiesel not only creates a new market for their crops, it opens the possibility of farmers growing their own fuel," said Mr. Storseth, who made the announcement on behalf of Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "This research network will help farmers grow more canola more often, giving them a competitive edge in the burgeoning biofuels industry, and giving them more income, which will in turn boost the economy."

It is estimated that canola contributes over $11 billion annually to the Canadian economy. For every $100 million of additional canola that is demanded, a projected $83 million in additional Canadian gross domestic product is generated and more than 730 new jobs are created.

To find out the most effective ways to increase canola production, the Sustainable Cropping System Platforms for Biodiesel Feedstock Quantity and Quality (SBQQ) research network will carry out a series of experiments conducted across the major soil zones and ecoregions of Western Canada.

"Canola is a strong driver of our economy. The Alberta Canola Producers' Commission is looking forward to the outcome of this initiative, which should lead to increased profitability for canola farmers and beneficial spin-offs for the entire industry," said Kevin Auch, Chair of the Alberta Canola Producers' Commission (ACPC), the lead organization for SBQQ.

Other participants include the University of Alberta, the University of Saskatchewan, the Alberta Biodiesel Association, Olds College, and the Canola Council of Canada.

Funding for this project is being provided through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Agricultural Bioproducts Innovation Program (ABIP), a federal funding program designed to integrate Canada's talent from universities, industry and government in order to stimulate creativity, leverage resources, reduce costs and accelerate progress towards commercialization of bioproducts and bioprocesses.

For additional information about ABIP, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/abip.


BACKGROUNDER

THE SUSTAINABLE CROPPING SYSTEM PLATFORMS FOR BIODIESEL FEEDSTOCK QUANTITY AND QUALITY NETWORK

In order to meet increased canola production demands, canola growers will need to grow more canola more often. To find out the most effective ways to increase canola production, the Sustainable Cropping System Platforms for Biodiesel Feedstock Quantity and Quality (SBQQ) research network will carry out a series of five experiments conducted across the major soil zones and ecoregions of Western Canada.

The network is focusing on five benefits that their work will help to realize:

1) Greater canola feedstock production will increase canola demand and grower income, enhance rural diversification, and stimulate research and development investment.

2) Greater demand for canola feedstock crushing will create jobs, increase canola food, non food, and livestock feed supplies and encourage infrastructure expansion.

3) New biodiesel production facilities will manufacture high quality biodiesel, glycerin and other byproducts, stimulate research and development investment, and establish long term infrastructure facilities.

4) Biodiesel consumers and end users will have a consistent, high quality, renewable Canadian made fuel source that prolongs engine life.

5) Biodiesel use in Canada will reduce green house gas and particulate emissions, improve air quality, prevent diseases and their associated costs, improve fuel handling safety and generate tax revenues.

THE AGRICULTURAL BIOPRODUCTS INNOVATION PROGRAM

The Agricultural Bioproducts Innovation Program (ABIP) is designed to promote research, development, technology transfer and the commercialization of agricultural bioproducts, including biofuels, in Canada.

The program will benefit farmers by generating new agricultural knowledge and technology and facilitating its transfer to those that can commercialize these innovations for the benefit of farmers and others in Canada's bioeconomy.

The program supports the establishment, development and operation of bioproducts research networks that focus on:

- Feedstock production through the development of crop platforms and cropping systems suitable for conversion to bioproducts;

- Developing effective and efficient technologies for biomass conversion; and

- Product diversification through technologies relevant to production of bioproducts (e.g. industrial chemicals, biomaterials and health products).

For additional information about the Agricultural Bioproducts Innovation Program (ABIP) and other Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada programs, please visit www.agr.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Meagan Murdoch
    Press Secretary
    613-759-1059